Scarcely any other country can boast such a huge variety of different cultural landscapes in such a small area, as can Switzerland.
For the most part, the various types of farmhouses have their origins in the various forms of agricultural management, which up to a few decades ago represented the most important sector of the economy for many regions. Suitable forms of cultivation and farming developed over centuries in the regions, shaped by the special topographical and climatic conditions. Whether agriculture, dairy farming or wine-growing, each form of cultivation and farming also produced its own architecture and its own functional buildings.
The farmhouses are on principal divided into four main constructions: through pillar construction, frame-work construction, log cabin and stone structure.
The through pillar construction, a skeleton construction, is characteristic in the middle part of Switzerland.
In the north-western part of Switzerland, mainly in the region around Basel and in the north-eastern part, in the canton of Schaffhausen, Thurgau and Zurich there is frequently the frame-work construction.
The log cabin construction we find in the Alps.
In Ticino, the Grisons and Western Switzerland there are mainly stone structure.
In many farmhouses, these types of construction can be seen mixed together.
The oldest farmhouses in Switzerland which have been kept – to some extent – in their entirety date from the second half of the 15th century. A wooden house has a life -span of three- to four-hundred years, stone buildings can last longer. There is no farmhouse which has lasted more than two-hundred years without change.